What is a Party Wall Award?
The process and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A Party Wall Award is a contract made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party limit or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are 3 primary kinds of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled commercial structure surveyors perform a series of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by skilled and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall, also known as common wall or as a demising wall) is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side. This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment complex. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A NOVICES GUIDE
We value that lots of people wishing to perform deal with their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a complicated process for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which aims to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to carry out particular particular works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or reduce disputes by ensuring homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act provides a system for dealing with disagreements and enabling works to proceed. It also needs that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate structures belonging to different owners however could consist of garden walls constructed astride a border– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size structures frequently only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included due to the fact that the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a building) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or built to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” means a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by separate staircases or separate entrances;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after notifying the adjoining owners and either getting written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a wet proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any items preventing this from happening.
- demolishing and reconstructing a party wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building.
- excavating structures within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to construct a new wall on the line of junction (limit line), notifications are likewise required. A party wall property surveyor will normally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and recommendations the notice period and kind of notification required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular specific types of work and is liberal in nature. It needs to not be viewed as an approach of challenging or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is generally concurred that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notification.
The operations of the Act are constantly initiated by the of issuing notices. This is the first stage of the process and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification should be served on adjoining owners a minimum of 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners should be served a notice and there are most likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjacent residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjoining residential or commercial property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.
Legitimate notifications must contain the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work consisting of plans, areas and information of building and construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is important to consist of the appropriate details on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Responses To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjoining owner has three possible courses of action:.
- To grant the works proceeding as described. If there is a conflict at that stage, a consenting Adjoining Owner retains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to appoint a property surveyor later in the process.
- To dissent and appoint a surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Release a counter notice to set out specific conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice should set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be consisted of for his benefit.
If the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is said to have actually occurred and the person bring out the work must appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjoining owners provide written consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no dispute to deal with and no additional requirement for party wall surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notice and no damage is caused, then no additional participation is essential.
If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no response is received and a considered dissent has actually arisen) then a conflict has occurred which should be resolved under the requirements of Section 10 of The Act. It is worth restating that the Act is among enablement, it is not there to prevent works from happening and it offers a route to end disagreements at every phase. Where written arrangement is not given, the solution the Act supplies is for both celebrations to designate an ‘concurred surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to select a surveyor who in turn appoint a 3rd surveyor. The surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor( s) will examine the strategies, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be performed (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will generally tape-record the condition of the appropriate part of adjacent home before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about good practice and is duly provided by many good property surveyors). The award might likewise give access to both properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can examine work in development.
Typically, the structure owner who began the work spends for all expenditures of work and the reasonable expenses sustained by all parties as a result, this will consist of the surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that lots of people wanting to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to bring out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. Written notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least two months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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